As with so many things involving the human brain, memory is complicated. There’s long-term memory and short-term; there’s skill memory, language-based memory and visuospatial memory. But the overarching issues of memory are storage and retrieval, and each can be affected by stroke.
When she awoke from six and a half hours of neurosurgery, she had no memory of the prior 34 years of her life. She didn’t recognize her husband, children or parents. “I forgot the first nine years of my marriage,” she said.
Memory challenges after stroke are not uncommon. But sometimes, what appear to be challenges may be other stroke deficits masquerading as memory problems. Here are some things to consider and ask your healthcare provider about.
Stroke often changes a survivor’s ability to do things that are important to them, and the loss of what you personally, dearly valued in yourself can be very challenging. Survivor Rachel Scanlon Henry shares how her own process might’ve been better supported if she’d been conscious of the stages of grieving as she experienced them.
Stroke can change a survivor’s personality. “If our relationships are like a dance, when personality changes, when someone fundamentally changes their dance steps, that requires other family members to change their dance steps as well.”
The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.
Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) — also known as vascular dementia — affects thinking, memory, the ability to shift focus and more. There is no cure, but it may be that a heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent it.
Although stroke effects are unpredictable, mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and pseudo-bulbar affect (PBA) are fairly common.
A stroke affects more than brain cells – it impacts every area of the survivor’s life, as well as the lives of the survivor’s loved ones.
Do you find it difficult to realize your own best intentions, much less the latest health recommendations? What is necessary is motivation - the will to overcome the inertia of habit. Caregivers can play a big role.